The curfew will remain in effect beyond February 8 and the easing of restrictions will be modest due to hospitalizations linked to COVID-19 which remain high, warns François Legault.
• Read also: All the developments of the pandemic
“I want to be very clear, we will have to be realistic, most of the containment measures will remain,” the Prime Minister warned at a press conference on Thursday.
Although the number of new infections is decreasing in Quebec, hospitalizations remain too numerous to be able to put an end to the postponement of surgeries. Some 140,000 people are currently waiting for an operation.
“So I just want to tell you that we are far from the point where we will be able, because of the number of people in hospitals, to be able to really relax,” explained Mr. Legault.
By his own admission, François Legault wanted to rectify the situation after having raised some hopes on Tuesday. “What I’ve read, there are expectations that there will be a lot of flexibilities,” he explained.
Good news, however, for areas less affected by the virus, particularly in Eastern Quebec: the flexibility measures will apply differently depending on the region.
One thing is certain, the curfew is expected to continue beyond February 8. “The curfew is working well, and then I think it also succeeds in reaching a clientele which was perhaps difficult to convince in the houses”, estimates François Legault.
Even if it is difficult to determine its precise effect among the set of new measures announced at the beginning of January, the Prime Minister emphasizes that “the model, in total, that we currently have is giving good results”.
It remains to be seen what impact the eventual arrival of the British variant in Quebec will have.
A seventh case may have been detected, announced the national director of public health, Dr.r Horacio Arruda, who was awaiting confirmation on Thursday.
Listen to the scientific coordinator of the “COVID Stop” collective, Nancy Delagrave, with Benoit Dutrizac, on QUB radio:
This mutation of the virus is considered 30% to 70% more contagious than the classic strain, so that Great Britain deplored 37,000 hospitalizations on Wednesday.
“If we make a rule of three, it’s as if we had 4600 hospitalizations in Quebec instead of 1264”, remarked François Legault.
Moreover, the arrival of the variant in Quebec is practically inevitable, estimates the Dr Arruda. “What we hope is to delay its introduction and ensure that enough people are vaccinated to limit the impact,” he says.
Photo Stevens LeBlanc
Prime Minister François Legault held a press conference in Quebec City on Thursday on the sidelines of the CAQ presessional caucus. He was accompanied by the national director of public health, Dr. Horacio Arruda (left), and the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé (right), to take stock of the pandemic in Quebec.
For Travel, it’s a dead end
In order to prevent travelers from importing these various variants of the virus, François Legault recently asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ban non-essential travel or to impose quarantines on travelers at the hotel. Its demands have so far gone unheeded.
There is no longer any question, however, of “taking measures ourselves at airports in Quebec”, as the Prime Minister had mentioned last week.
“I checked, re-checked with government lawyers, there is no way for the Quebec government to introduce a law, without significant risk of contestation, to manage the entire quarantine of travelers instead of the federal government. who are returning to Quebec, ”he says.
Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my email@example.com 1-800-268-7116